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Driving up Haleakala: Worth it if not for the sunrise?

Driving up Haleakala: Worth it if not for the sunrise?

Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 01:15 PM
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Driving up Haleakala: Worth it if not for the sunrise?

I understand the beauty there must be at sunrise on Haleakala. But we do not intend to drive through the night to see it. So is the drive up still worth the time involved? Pix I've seen have me wondering. Also, we will not be hiking there.
Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 02:34 PM
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We went in the day. The drive up is rather lovely ( though it could make you slightly sick)

What was quite interesting when we got there was the walk behind the mountain a ranger told us about it. You feel like you are all alone in a moonscape.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 02:50 PM
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YES!!!! It is definitely worth it. It is AMAZING to see. None of my family wanted to get up in the middle of the night or drive in the dark. We drove over/up after breakfast (we were staying in Lahaina) mid-morning. It was a wonderful excursion. You don't need to hike. You can simply drive to the lookout point at the top.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 04:29 PM
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Another yes vote.
We went w/a tour, only our group. They had hot choclate, blankets and we could sleep on the way up (in the dark..can't see anythng anyway) and best of all the driver knew the somewhat windy road which was equally important in the dark as well as in the light when all the bkers were racing downhill!


The sunrise was spectacular & surprisingly spiritual.

When we came down they had brunch waitng for us..
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 04:55 PM
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The sunset is pretty amazing, too. We went in early November, and were practically the only ones there. Beautiful!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 06:49 AM
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If you DO want to go for sunrise or sunset, I would go with the advice above of going with a tour group or driver/van. Personally I wouldn't be comfortable driving myself in a rental car on that road in the dark! It is VERY steep and winding, a little scary even during the daytime.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 06:57 AM
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We are conservative drivers & had absolutely not difficulty with the road to Haleakala what so ever. It is definitely worth the trip. We did do the early AM plan, but I would not do that again - I'd go at sunset - in my own car. But, either way, do go.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 07:03 AM
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1JAR: Which tour company did you go with on the sunrise tour and would you recommend them? Thanks in advance!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 07:20 AM
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We also did the drive in the daytime. It was really lovely. I liked approaching the clouds, driving through them, and then seeing the beautiful sunshine above them!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 07:22 AM
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Who's posting bad pix of the crater? Even if it's socked in with clouds, it's gorgeous! You can tell if it's going to be clouded in by looking up and maybe choosing a different day for the drive. Clouds tend to set in as the day progresses, so going up in the a.m. is a good idea.

The wonderful thing about going during the day is that you can take an easy walk along the edge of the crater, the turnout is before you get to the top. Generally not a lot of folks, lots less wind and a nice little nature trail, all level. If you do hike into the crater just a bit from the top, you're recreating the moon walking practice our astronauts did for the Apollo missions, which is so cool for those of us old enough to remember when they first occurred. (You can also book cabins, stay overnight, and hike through and down the other side, but that's a BIG commitment, even though downhill all the way.) Views from the top are amazing, colors in the crater are spectacular and if the clouds start rolling in, it's just so fascinating to watch. All ages will be enthralled! Dress warmly, too, you'll be in wind and at 10K-foot altitude.

On the way down, stop for lunch or dinner at the Haili'imaile General Store. We've been going there and to the top of crater on every visit to Maui since Bev Gannon opened that restaurant. It's one of our favorites in the world. Bev's first cookbook is great and I see that she has a new one, which I'm going to order now.

Have a wonderful time, I can't wait to go back, it's always worth the long flight from the east coast to be there!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 05:52 PM
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Thanks to all. You've convinced us to go - during the day! And we will have lunch at the General Store.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 06:31 PM
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Glad you are going during the day since you have to leave your hotel around 3am and its a crap shoot with the sunrise if you get to see it with the usual cloud cover.
It's like the road to Hana for us..once you've done it, never want to do it again but I like going during the day since the road is extremely dangerous and a long haul.
We like having lunch or late breakfast at the Kula Lodge.
It is freezing up there so be prepared.
aloha
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 12:41 PM
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Thanks. "Extremely dangerous"??? I might rethink the entire trip, just as we decided not to take the road to Hana. Besides, who wants to cram their luggage with a lot of warm clothes for a few minutes on a crater?
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 02:50 PM
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[ Besides, who wants to cram their luggage with a lot of warm clothes for a few minutes on a crater?]

Enough people to fill up the parking lots & more each day. So, you stay home & give us who enjoy an adventure some space. How about it?
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 04:20 PM
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It will be my pleasure. I'll enjoy other adventures, olesouthernbelle, with my northernbelle.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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I was actually teasing, but there's no way to tell that in print. But, no kidding, you really shouldn't miss it.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 05:08 PM
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If you like science and geology, Haleakala crater will be fascinating at any time. And the views on the drive up and down are some of the most gorgeous on Maui: the green slopes of the enormous mountain falling away to the isthmus of Maui, which fans out and rises just beyond to the West Maui Mountains. On either side will be the Pacific. Some days, Molokai will be visible to the north, and Kahoolawe I think to the south, all arrayed below you.

If you're interested in Haleakala as a sunrise-centric activity, it's probably not worth your time.

The road is long, curving, wide and in good condition. It requires attention like any mountain road but is not dicey. Mid- to late morning, or whenever downhill bike riders occupy the edge, is not a good time to be driving down and enjoying the view.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 05:14 PM
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OK, take a look at our pics here before you totally make up your mind: http://www.worldisround.com/articles/203457/index.htm

The ones pertaining to Haleakala begin on the 6th row down.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 05:15 PM
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I see that's not working - somehow the 'l' got deleted. Trying again:
http://www.worldisround.com/articles/203457/index.html
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 05:47 AM
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Thanks for the pix, olesouthernbelle! Still, we may pass on the moonscape.
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